Daniel Ricciardo says he now believes he belongs in the same company as Formula One’s leading drivers after a magnificent victory in Hungary. The Australian overtook Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso inside the final four laps to take his second career win and admits his confidence is growing with every race that goes by.
“Winning this today, it honestly feels as good as the first. It sank in a lot quicker this one, so crossing the line today I knew what was going on a bit more and it’s like I could enjoy it immediately rather than it being delayed, it was awesome. To have to pass guys again to win the race, as I did in Canada, makes it a lot more satisfying, knowing that we did have a bit of a fight on our hands – you beauty! In this environment now I feel, I am a different driver and in a way a different person, a different sportsman than I was last year. I’ve got a lot more belief in myself and it’s cool, I definitely feel like I belong here now and I’ve got confidence; obviously we’ve converted two races into wins this year so far and I think that confidence is showing. I’ve got some friends from Australia here this weekend, so the plan was to always have a few drinks tonight, so I think we’ve got an excuse to now!”
There were contrasting fortunes for his Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel who was among the drivers severely disadvantaged by the first safety car. The world champion would later have a brush with the pitwall after a wild spin exiting the last corner and was understandably annoyed with seventh.
“It wasn’t a great race. I spun, which was my mistake, and before that I was unlucky with the safety car in the first stint. The timing meant the first four cars lost positions to those running behind. Unfortunately we were then in the wrong mode for the restart and I lost two positions. It’s good for Daniel that he won today, I’m happy for him.”